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Combine Exposure Bracketing & Focus Stacking for the ULTIMATE Nature Photos (VIDEOS)

Combine Exposure Bracketing & Focus Stacking for the ULTIMATE Nature Photos (VIDEOS)

Dealing with ever-changing light and maximizing depth of field are two of the biggest challenges when making landscape photographs. Tonal values often range from dark shadows to bright sunlit areas, and some scenes call for sharply rendered areas from foreground to background.

If you’re up for the challenge, the tutorial below from German photographer Michael Breitung will put you on the path toward success. In this behind-the-scene episode, Breitung demonstrates how a combination of focus stacking and exposure blending enabled him to make a great shot.

Breitung used the automatic focus-bracketing feature of his Canon EOS R5 to capture the images for his stacking sequence. After explaining this technique, he quickly switches to exposure bracketing for the background. He also reveals the post processing method for combining all the photos into one striking image.

Dealing with strong winds, Breitung discusses technical settings, offers helpful suggestions for composition, and details his approach to dealing with strong sunlight entering the frame from the side. He settles on a strong composition with a beautiful old beech tree in the mid-range of the scene, and interesting dried grasses in the sunlit foreground.

Once he finds an interesting portion of the sky, as the sun is getting low, Breitung locks down the framing and begins shooting. He reveals his exposure settings and choice of gear, and explains why he prefers exposure bracketing to the use of ND filters for getting things right.

Breitung then turns to Photoshop for the easy-to-follow editing process before revealing the final result. You can find more shooting and processing tips on Breitung’s YouTube channel, so be sure and take a look.

And for another interesting landscape tutorial, check out our story explaining how to tell if your photographs are keepers or trash.